The People's Budget Campaign
When Republicans in the House proposed $5.5 trillion in cuts a few years ago, a handful of conservatives voted against them and demanded even more destructive defunding. One of those Republicans, Mick Mulvaney, is Trump’s pick to lead the Office of Management and Budget. Key members of Trump’s budget transition team used to work at the big business friendly Heritage Foundation, and reports indicate Trump’s scandalous budget proposal, expected in the coming weeks, will be based on these radically conservative blueprints.
Based on that blueprint, the reported Trump proposal would:
- Slash food and housing assistance for the impoverished
- Cut Social Security benefits and raise the retirement age
- Privatize Medicare and allow states to undermine Medicaid
- Eliminate funding for Violence Against Women grants, as well as community policing and legal aid for poorer Americans
- Scrap funding for the Paris agreement on climate change and offices devoted to energy efficiency and reducing fossil fuel emissions
- Reduce funding for civil rights enforcement and community policing
- Repeal common-sense rules on Wall Street banks
- Offer a handout to massive corporations
- Eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities
- Privatize the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Past Republican proposals targeted 62 percent of their cuts at low-income programs – and Trump’s plan looks even worse.7
We do not have a spending problem. We have a defense spending problem. We spend more on defense than we do on all other areas, combined. More than half the discretionary budget goes to the military-industrial complex, and the “non-discretionary” budget – things like Social Security – is funded for decades, or longer with small fixes.8 Trump and his Republican backers are not serious about spending, they are simply declaring war on the poor as an excuse to pass massive tax breaks for their wealthy campaign donors and corporate pals.
Some Democrats will face the temptation to compromise in order to show their friends at Washington cocktail parties that they are “serious” about spending. If they do so, they will be complicit in making America sicker, poorer, less prosperous and less well-educated. We need to declare in no uncertain terms that Democrats must do everything in their power to resist the Trump cuts.